All posts by elsimpson

Pellissippi State, community partners team up for ‘Good Food For All’

3 people around some vegetables.
Pellissippi State Community College students, from left, Juls Jackson, Roxmin Lakhani and Cindy Lozano help harvest food at the Pond Gap Elementary School community garden. Pellissippi State founded the garden in 2013.

This fall, Pellissippi State Community College begins a year of collaboration with five area partners working on community school support and food access outreach projects.

The college’s Service-Learning program, with support from the Sustainable Campus Initiative, kicks off the “Good Food For All” campaign during Civic Engagement Week, Sept. 10-17.

“This project is upping the ante on Pellissippi State’s connections to the community and our outreach into poverty alleviation and education efforts outside our campuses,” said Annie Gray, Service-Learning coordinator.

“We will be working to create awareness of East Tennessee challenges to food security and good nutrition. Through these projects, we’ll connect Pellissippi State students and employees with community service opportunities. Together, we’ll support volunteer programming and nutrition initiatives in Knoxville’s new community schools—initiatives that are already under way to combat food security issues.”

During Civic Engagement Week, Pellissippi State will host events and speakers tied in to food access, sustainability, and community service. The week will include lectures and skill sharing on food security, organic gardening, permaculture, and careers in sustainability, food, agriculture, and human sciences. There will be harvesting events and speakers on topics as varied as Knoxville’s food scene and the agrarian heritage of the United States.

“We want to showcase opportunities for service in ways that relate to food, like community gardens, and stoke students’ fire for education as we spotlight career paths in sustainability, local food and agriculture, nutrition education, human sciences, and more,” Gray said.

But Civic Engagement Week is just the beginning.

Good Food For All continues throughout the year through the work of five AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers, funded by a grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service.

The VISTA volunteers will work at five area sites in poverty alleviation projects as they relate to food access and nutritional awareness. Elias Attea will work with Pond Gap Elementary, a participant in the University-Assisted Community Schools Program; Nicole Lewis, with Knoxville’s Great Schools Partnership; Caley Hyatt, with Knoxville-Knox County’s Food Policy Council; Jeremy Roberts, with the University of Tennessee-Tennessee State University Extension-Knox County; and Jennifer Hurst, with Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee. 

“Food is a great place to start with the college’s poverty alleviation outreach projects,” said Gray, “because it is common ground we all share: we all need food, we all understand food. Sharing more knowledge about food gives people more power over their food supply; this bridges socioeconomic and demographic differences. There are a lot of community outreach and academic opportunities here.”

Through the CNCS grant, Pellissippi State will pay for one AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer’s time for the year. The five community partners will donate a portion of the funding for the four additional VISTA workers, and CNCS will cover the rest. VISTA volunteers are paid at the poverty level during their year of service.

The community partnerships of Good Food For All are building on the foundation of Pellissippi State’s community garden at Pond Gap Elementary School. The garden has been used to grow food for the community, has served as an educational tool for the schoolchildren at Pond Gap and has been a place for Pellissippi State students to volunteer time in service. 

AmeriCorps VISTA was founded in 1965 as a national service program dedicated to fighting poverty. Pellissippi State’s Service-Learning program allows students and faculty to integrate meaningful community service and reflection with more traditional learning experiences, with the underlying goals of teaching civic responsibility and strengthening communities. 

For more information about Pellissippi State or the Service-Learning program, visit www.pstcc.edu/service-learning/ or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State puts out casting call for ‘Server Alley,’ ‘The Tempest’

theatre graphic with female holding flowersActors and actresses: Try out your talents at Pellissippi State Community College. Community-wide auditions get under way in September for Alex Gherardi’s “Server Alley” and William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.”

General auditions are set for 7 p.m. Sept. 3-4 in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Those auditioning will be asked to present one Shakespearean monologue, read from the text of a new work and perform an improvisational movement.

The Pellissippi State production of “Server Alley,” to be presented Nov. 14-16 and 21-23, is the world premiere. Written by New York playwright Alex Gherardi, the comedy-drama examines the lives of an oft-seen but barely noticed group: the people who serve your food.

The Shakespeare classic “The Tempest” is being produced in partnership with Duck Ear Productions. The play is April 17-19 and 24-26. Attendees should prepare to be transported to a faraway island for a tale filled with spirits, monsters, vengeance, young love and sorcery.

“Server Alley” and “The Tempest” are two of the events that make up Pellissippi State’s arts series, The Arts at Pellissippi State. The series brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts.

For more information about The Arts at Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu/arts or call (865) 694-6400. For more information about the auditions, contact Charles R. Miller, head of Theatre productions at Pellissippi State and co-founder of the Smoky Mountain Shakespeare Festival. His email is cmiller@pstcc.edu.

New Computer Aided Manufacturing certificate offered at Pellissippi State

Pellissippi State Community College students have the opportunity beginning this fall to earn a Computer Aided Manufacturing certificate. Pellissippi State is the first Tennessee Board of Regents school to offer a CAM certificate.

CAM uses specialized software to create precise instructions for the machinery used to manufacture parts. It is the manufacturing step after computer-aided design (CAD), which uses computers to create and manipulate a design.

The certificate is available as a stand-alone credential or as a stepping stone toward earning an associate’s degree in Engineering Technology with a concentration in Manufacturing.

CAM career opportunities include machinist, manufacturing technician, engineering assistant and machine operator or programmer positions. The certificate is also an opportunity for continuing education for students who are already employed.

“The certificate is based on developing machining and programming skills in applied mathematics, technical drawing, geometric dimensioning, and solids modeling,” said Pat Riddle, professor and program coordinator of the Mechanical Engineering concentration in Engineering Technology.

“Modern manufacturers require skilled machinists who can oversee operations and program this very sophisticated software to produce highly precise, dimensional components,” Riddle said. “The certificate program will train people who want to enhance their skills or who are interested in learning advanced manufacturing processes.”

The curriculum is determined primarily by the educational and training needs of local businesses. Students who earn the certificate won’t need extensive additional education and training to be productive immediately on the job.

For more information about Engineering Technology and other programs at Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State introduces Sustainable Design concentration

At Pellissippi State Community College, “sustainability” is more than just a buzzword. It’s an educational pursuit.

This fall, students can enroll in the Engineering Technology degree program with a concentration in Sustainable Design. The curriculum is offered at the college’s Hardin Valley and Strawberry Plains campuses.

“Sustainable design practices seek to minimize the negative environmental impact of buildings,” said Greg Armour, who teaches in Engineering and Media Technologies. “We can enhance living and working spaces while still reducing the consumption of nonrenewable resources.

“Students will learn a holistic approach to design that considers life-cycle costs such as building efficiency and energy. The idea of sustainability, or ecological design, is to ensure that our actions today don’t inhibit the opportunities of future generations.”

Sustainable Design is open to all Pellissippi State students interested in pursuing Engineering Technology. It is also part of the curriculum at the new Knox County Schools Career Magnet Academy, which opened this month at the college’s Strawberry Plains Campus. Sustainable Design is one of eight pathways from which the high school students can choose.

The concentration is useful for students interested in the construction industry and in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification exam, as well as for students interested in fields as wide-ranging as business, consulting, and science. The curriculum includes topics such as passive solar design, construction techniques, site selection and design, building information modeling software, and LEED sustainability concepts.

“The Sustainable Design concentration offers a great foundation of the most essential ideas for those who wish to be an agent of change,” said Armour, who is an architect and LEED accredited professional.

Students who complete the Sustainable Design coursework at Pellissippi State earn a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree. The 60-hour concentration includes classroom and open-lab time.

The Sustainable Design concentration checklist is available online.

For more information about Engineering Technology or other degree programs at Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Learn traditional dulcimer tunes, techniques at Pellissippi State

Learn to play the Appalachian dulcimer and discover the instrument’s Appalachian heritage at Pellissippi State Community College this fall.

The nine-week Beginning Appalachian Dulcimer course is 5:30-7 p.m. Thursdays, beginning Sept. 18. Classes are at the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The course fee is $95, payable to Pellissippi State. An additional materials fee of $37 is payable to the instructor, Rudy Ryan.

During the class, students will learn traditional tunes and techniques, including basic strumming, fretting, slides, hammer-ons, pull-offs and some chords. No prior musical knowledge is required.

Students need to have an Appalachian dulcimer by the first day of class. The instructor can provide sources if needed.

Class is limited to the first 12 students who register.

To register or learn more about this and other classes offered by Business and Community Services, visit www.pstcc.edu/bcs or call (865) 539-7167. To request accommodations for a disability, email accommodations@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State welcomes two new academic deans

Portrait of a male

For Kane Barker, being offered the position of dean of Natural and Behavioral Sciences at Pellissippi State Community College is a dream come true.

“I grew up in Knoxville and had wanted to return for years,” said Barker, who was hired last month. “I sat down and designed my dream job, the job that would bring me back here, and it was the dean of Natural and Behavioral Sciences at Pellissippi State.

“I’m very happy to be here. I have a real heart for education in a place like Pellissippi State that allows professors to bond with students, to teach them and develop not only learning skills but introduce them to new opportunities for life.”

Stamm-LisaLisa Stamm, the new dean of the college’s Nursing Department, echoes Barker’s sentiments: “Pellissippi State truly does have a community feel. It’s a very dynamic place with lots of opportunities, and everyone is kind and supportive.

“I want to be sure the community knows about our top-notch Nursing program. I plan to continue to uphold standards that have kept our program at a 97 percent pass rate for the National Council Licensure Examination and that have given us our largest freshman class ever this fall.”

The Nursing Department will continue to offer new, technologically advanced methods for students to learn, Stamm says, from dual enrollment courses in health science at local high schools to a planned simulation center at the Strawberry Plains Campus. In addition, she hopes to include more service-learning opportunities that will allow Nursing students to give back to the community and learn by doing.

In his new position, Barker hopes to continue building on his department’s past successes, including STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] and early childhood education, as well as to pursue grants for additional student scholarships and state-of-the-art equipment. Barker earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from Georgia Institute of Technology. He and his wife of 10 years have three children.

Stamm completed an M.S. in nursing from the University of Tennessee and is currently pursuing a doctorate in health education. She has worked in cardiology, critical care and emergency units, and she has taught at local higher education institutions. Stamm and her husband have four grown children.

For more information, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State employee recognized as a top graduate student worldwide

John-Brent-Morrison

John Brent Morrison, manager of technical operations in Educational Technology Services at Pellissippi State Community College, was recognized recently as one of the best business graduate students in the world.

Morrison, who is pursuing an M.B.A. at Tennessee Technological University, competed in the international Capstone Business Simulation program, or Capsim, during spring semester. He placed 23rd out of 1,760 participants from 36 countries, and his scores put him in the top 1.5 percent of competitors.

The Capsim is a sophisticated program used in more than 600 universities worldwide. Students create and operate fictitious companies, making decisions regarding marketing, finance, product development, factory production, and workforce management. Students who do well in the classroom can choose to compete in the biannual competition.

The company Morrison fabricated designed, manufactured, and distributed motion sensors for various products, such as pedometers and video game remote controls. Morrison’s success, he believes, came from his strategy of regularly introducing new products into the market.

“The steady pace of product innovation,” he said, “allowed me to examine the simulated market as a whole and target the consumer needs that my competitors were failing to meet, making products that were smaller, faster, and cheaper.”

According to Christine Miller, the decision sciences and management instructor who oversaw the classroom Capsim project, the program is designed to mimic the uncertainty of real-world business.

“The decisions are all interrelated,” she said. “A production decision can affect the corporation’s cash flow, which could have a ripple effect in the financial arena. If the simulation adds something like an economic recession, the companies have to be able to withstand it.”

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State partners with Family Justice Center to prevent violence

3 people standing in a row, 2 holding a plaque together.
Dr. L. Anthony Wise Jr., president of Pellissippi State Community College, marks a new partnership with the Family Justice Center during a signing ceremony Thursday, Aug. 7. He is joined by Amy Dilworth, director of the Family Justice Center, pictured at center, and Rebecca Ashford, vice president of Student Affairs.

Student safety is of paramount importance at Pellissippi State Community College, and to help preserve the health and wellness of both students and employees, the college is partnering with the Knoxville Family Justice Center to implement the Campus SaVE Act.

“We are very fortunate and grateful to have a partnership with the Family Justice Center,” said Mary Bledsoe, dean of students and assistant vice president of Student Affairs at Pellissippi State. “They provide valuable, important resources to our students who encounter or know someone who is in a dangerous situation.

“Pellissippi State is committed to supporting the survivors of violence as they seek to work through those situations. There are safe places on our campuses for them to go to find that support.”

Pellissippi State and the Family Justice Center signed a memorandum of understanding Thursday, Aug. 7.

With the Family Justice Center, Pellissippi State will provide training to students and employees on how to deal with violence, stalking, and trauma. One of the training tools is a video for new students. The video includes interviews with campus security staff, other college employees and Justice Center spokespeople. It gives tips on how to prevent dangerous situations and offers solutions for how to deal with such situations if they arise.

In addition, the Family Justice Center will provide training to Pellissippi State employees on how to work with victims of trauma. The center also will serve as a referral agency for any of those victims.

In the coming year, Pellissippi State will provide workshops for victim support groups, covering topics such as applying for college, writing resumes and exploring career options. Pellissippi State will provide mentoring for Family Justice Center clients who enroll.

The Campus SaVE Act, or the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act of 2013, affects both colleges and universities. Higher education institutions are required to educate students, faculty, and staff on the prevention of rape, domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

The SaVE Act was put into effect as part of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, which was signed into law in March 2013. The SaVE Act applies to all students on campus, not just women.

“The SaVE Act gives us an outline for preventing domestic and sexual violence and for responding appropriately when victims of violence come onto our campus,” said Rebecca Ashford, vice president of Student Affairs.

The Knoxville Family Justice Center offers a variety of services to Knox-area victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, including counseling, support groups, safety planning, housing, and other assistance.

For more information about the Campus SaVE Act, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

artwork with people

Pellissippi State: Blount County Campus hosts inaugural art exhibit

Pellissippi State Community College’s Blount County Campus presents its first art exhibit Aug. 18-Oct. 17, and the community is invited to enjoy the display.

The exhibit, “Quantum Confusion,” features the work of artist Denise Stewart-Sanabria. A public reception takes place 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25. The art will be on display in the lobby of the campus, 2731 W. Lamar Alexander Pkwy., during normal business hours, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. each weekday.

“‘Quantum Confusion’ involves the many theories given to the existence of parallel worlds, both in the disciplines of quantum physics and metaphysics. Whether any parts of these theories eventually prove to be true remains to be seen, but with further developments in the world of quantum physics, we are constantly reminded that the more we discover, the less we know,” Stewart-Sanabria said.

The exhibit will feature installations of large charcoal drawings on plywood that suggest the presence of portals, using existing walls and building spaces. Visitors and students will walk through the installation when they visit the Blount County Campus.

“We’re planning to use some of the architecture of the building and to reconstruct this exhibit so that the environment of parallel universes is actually in the college,” Stewart-Sanabria said.

Figures in the exhibit appear to be disappearing into and reappearing from alternate dimensions, as if they’ve not quite discovered what is happening to them. The sole alert figure in the exhibit is called “The Physicist,” who appears to study the other figures while holding a pencil and clipboard.

“Quantum Confusion” is one of the events that make up The Arts at Pellissippi State. The arts series brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts.

For more information about the exhibit, visit www.pstcc.edu/arts or contact the Blount County Campus at (865) 981-5300. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State hosts alumni artists for 40th anniversary exhibit

alumniexhibit

In celebration of its 40th anniversary, Pellissippi State Community College is welcoming back its alumni artists for a special exhibit in August.

“A Look in Both Directions” opens Aug. 25 and extends to Sept. 12. The free exhibit will be displayed in the Bagwell Center for Media and Art on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The opening reception is 3-5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 25.

“Pellissippi State has had a great influence on many people’s lives, including those of local and regional artists who were once our students,” said Jeff Lockett, Art professor and program coordinator. “We thought it would be great to see how some of those artists are doing now, how they began as our students and what their work is now.”

paige_resizedThe exhibit is Pellissippi State’s first featuring only the work of alumni. The alumni artists include Sharon Bachleda, Paige Burchell, Jessica Burelson, Pete Hoffecker, Daniel Huxtable, Steven Kempster, Jamie Schneider, Pamela Simpson, Bill Warden, Elliott White and Dean Yasko.

The exhibit will feature two- and three-dimensional works: sculpture, ceramics, painting, and drawing. Bagwell Gallery hours are Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m.

“A Look in Both Directions” is one of the events that make up Pellissippi State’s arts series, The Arts at Pellissippi State. The series brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts.

For more information, visit www.pstcc.edu/arts or call (865) 694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.